If We Have Cyberwar With Russia, You Are on the Front Line

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In many ways the recent hack attack on JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and four other, unnamed U.S. banks was not terribly unusual: a phishing email that, when clicked, opened malware that took control of target computers.

But the reaction was unusual. The FBI was called in and began looking for links between the attack and the ongoing struggle with the Russian government over Ukraine.

If war has begun, the thinking went, it's a cyberwar, and we are all in the front line.

TheStreet's Brittany Umar takes a closer look at the J.P. Morgan cyber attack:

WATCH: More market update videos on TheStreet TV | More videos from Brittany Umar

Further investigation offered a different picture. Bloomberg learned the attack began months ago and took advantage of existing, known security flaws in the bank's infrastructure. The idea of Russian criminals seeking to exploit banks' cybersecurity holes to extract valuable personal data is a decade old.

Yet some experts still acted like this was DEFCON 1, with at least one soberly warning that a Digital Pearl Harbor is coming and America's cyberdefenses are no more ready for it than America was ready for war in Europe in 1938.

He's right. A recent Web audio conference I attended on Health IT security revealed that an attack against Community Health Systems (CYH) that drew all sorts of comment was actually caused by the "Heartbleed" bug, something that has been around since spring and was even the subject of a comic strip. 

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